This library is really long–and you can see just how big it is from the beautiful outside. I couldn’t find the parking lot, so I ended up paying for metered parking. Of course, the moment I stepped into the building I noticed the lot behind the building. Oops. I stopped by reference first, but there wasn’t a librarian there. They had a sign telling patrons if they had any questions to ask the circulation staff member for help. I turned around and asked her my question. She pointed me towards the children’s room where I could ask the librarian there for help.
The children’s librarian was busy helping a family when I arrived, which gave me a minute to look around. I really liked the way the room was arranged and decorated. It gave off such a kid-friendly, welcoming feeling. In some libraries, it looks like they forgot who their kid’s room is servicing, but at East Rockaway, they have work done by kids hanging everywhere, summer-reading themed decorations covering the walls and tables covered with paper for crafting. All that gave off such a great vibe.
The librarian kindly looked up the location of my book, and I journeyed back to the adult side to find what I wanted. I found what I was looking for, and before leaving, took a moment to look at the young adult section, which was located on shelves between the circulation desk and the children’s department.
Checking out was easy–the circulation clerk was really friendly. I felt like a bit of a doofus as I walked back to my metered spot, so anyone looking to come to East Rockaway should keep in mind that there is a lot!
From the outside Freeport looks like this:
And then you step inside and it looks like this:
I was definitely not expecting that kind of space when I was walking towards the building. It’s HUGE. I especially loved the spacious downstairs, which holds the non-fiction as well as cubbies for quiet study. Upstairs, where the reference department is located, is just as big. Walking through this library really gives you a feeling of openness and I felt myself becoming less stressed the more I wandered.
Their young adult books are located near their reference collection—after asking a very nice librarian for help, I hurried back to this section to snag a graphic novel. After, I walked across to their children’s department, which was large and full of families. It was noisy there–the good kind of noise that comes from a well-loved space. The tables were full of people, which makes me think that the community really values this place a lot. Seeing so many people in the library made me smile.
Check-out was quick and easy—the clerk who helped me was kind and friendly. My only complaint about this library is I didn’t see any parking that wasn’t metered (unless I’m just dopey when it comes to locating parking lots). I was asked several times on my way in and out of Freeport (by many different people) whether or not the parking was free after a certain time, which makes me wonder if there is a time when the meters don’t need quarters. If someone from Freeport happens to read this, I would love to know the rules surrounding the meters (especially because I see Freeport as a library I wouldn’t mind spending a day in). I was lucky enough to find a spot with money left from a previous patron, so regardless, I wasn’t too bothered by this. I left this library feeling impressed by what I saw–both a beautiful library and a pleasurable visit.
Both libraries were pretty big. Freeport was more open and allotted a lot of space for quiet study, which was really nice. East Rockaway does have a lot behind it which is slightly more convenient than the metered parking behind Freeport. There was a lot more staff on the floor at Freeport when I visited, though the children’s librarian at East Rockaway was more than helpful when answering my question. These two libraries both had really nice children’s room and a young adult department which had its own shelves beside another department. Finally, both of these libraries have gorgeous exteriors (completely unimportant to the function of the library, but something that visitors might like to know). I thought they were both beautiful. Another close match, but I’m going to give the round to:
12 thoughts on “East Rockaway VS Freeport”
The East Rockaway Library was actually recently remodeled on the outside. The original library got a very nice pick-me-up and now it is ten times as beautiful! Perhaps I should venture inside sometime to see if they changed the inside as well.
I didn’t know this! Thanks for sharing. And yes, I think you should go inside. It’s a nice place to visit.
You’re losing your bite. Lately, everything is a love-fest about parking, YA books, and very sweet librarians. More indepth critiques would be more helpful, such as why was there only one librarian in the building in East Rockaway, particularly since you opined that it was a large building. Were you there on a weekend or at an odd hour?
BTW – The East Rockaway redo was lovely and the staff is very nice. But to say that Freeport was the size of a pea? Granted, it is deceiving when one doesn’t realize that it’s like three adjoining buildings a city block long.
I don’t really understand why you have a problem with her saying Freeport appears to be the size of a pea from the outside. I think Dani was trying to tell us you’d never expect the kind of space they have from the outside in an entertaining way. She states that fact after the pictures. Did you see the photo of the cathedral? I’m almost positive she was making a joke.
It’s no wonder she’s toned down her posts so much since the start. So many readers either don’t read the whole post, or don’t understand what she’s saying or start nit picking and taking her words out of context.
I wouldn’t call what I’m doing nitpicking. I’m asking you to look with a more critical eye.
I’ve been in Freeport and it is huge inside. I just thought saying that it looked like a “pea” on the outside was misleading as it takes up a city block, as I mentioned in my comments.
Re no librarian on duty. You didn’t question it. If you’re going to be a chronicler of library services, you need to take note of such things. Were they short of staffing because of budget cuts? Do they normally schedule only two librarians and you happened to be there during lunch, etc.
When you go to library school, you will be asked to do assignments like this — comparing services and such — and will be graded on your observations. (I recently found my old internship diary and remembered getting “thumped on the head” by my professor for not investigating a little more.)
BTW — I do adjunct instruction every so often, and this could be the basis of a thesis. There is nothing wrong with pushing someone to live up to his/her potential.
I visited East Rockaway in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday. I’m not sure why there wasn’t a librarian at the reference desk, which is why I didn’t comment on it too much. I can only assume (and you know what they say when one assumes): the librarian could have been at a meeting, or on break. I’m not sure why knowing the reason the librarian was absent would help either way. There was still no one at the desk.
Thanks for visiting our library and saying nice things about us! We were happy that you thought we were big, though we’re one of the smallest Nassau village libraries! To answer everyone’s librarian question – Many times we only have one librarian on duty, and they have to cover the whole library while supervising the children’s room. We have a very, very small staff.
I am especially interested in your ideas about graphic novels! We have two blogs – one devoted to teens:
and one covering the rest of the library:
We do book reviews for both blogs. I’m interested in your ideas about adult graphic novels (we recently started a collection) vs. young adult graphic novels, or graphic novel reviews — do you ever review books on your blog?
I think it’s awesome that you are trying to promote libraries and customer service! As a small library, we rely on friendliness to keep the community happy and comfortable to communicate with us about their needs. Libraries often don’t think about the way we are perceived by the public, because we aren’t a business. I think your “secret shopper” idea is interesting (sort of reminds me of library school) and that you are talking about your experiences in a public forum can only help libraries understand where to focus their efforts!
Thank you for the lovely comment and for answering the lonely librarian question! I do review books on my blog, most of which are graphic novels (I’ve been on a huge graphic novel binge). I agree with you when you say sometimes libraries forget about their public image because they aren’t businesses. It gets complicated too, when discussion opens regarding just how much libraries should mimic businesses like Barnes and Noble–should they have cafes or should they focus on media more than literature? I find these debates really interesting, and after visiting all these libraries, I can see that different places have very different views on those topics. It’s completely fascinating.
Thank you again for contributing many answers to the post! I’ll be sure to check out your blogs.
Yes unfortunately the public parking at Freeport is owned by the village and therefore is metered. The meters are in affect from 9am-6pm mon – sat and 25 cents gets you an hour.
This is very useful information–thank you for sharing it with everyone!
I forgot to mention that the meters at Freeport are 12 hour meters so you can put enough money in to cover you until 6pm if necessary.
Thanks for all your truthful comments regarding you experience here at our library. We will soon be undergoing a renovation of the West Building, where Reference is located. We’ll keep in the mind all the things you liked while you were here. I’m glad we made it to the next round of your evaluation but I see it wasn’t an easy decision. Looking forward to reading more about you site visits as you venture across Nassau County in search of the “Best Library”